and a February 22, 2012 release date for America and Europe, although a limited edition was released a week earlier in North America on February 15, 2012, which included the 3G/Wi Fi model of the device, the game Little Deviants, a limited-edition carry case, and a 4 GB memory card.The sales of the Vita started strong at launch, but then stalled and greatly underperformed.Shortly after, reports of development kits for the handheld had reportedly already been shipped to numerous video game developers including both first-party and third-party developers to start making games for the device, In the same month, VG247 released pictures of an early prototype version showing a PSP Go-like slide-screen design along with two analog sticks, two cameras and a microphone, though the report mentioned that overheating issues had since caused them to move away from the design in favor of a model more similar to the original Play Station Portable device.Throughout 2010, Sony would not confirm these reports of a PSP successor, but would make comments regarding making future hardware.
While this led to less diversity in its game library, it did garner strong support in Japanese-developed role-playing video games and visual novels alongside a wealth of Western-developed indie games, leading it to become a moderate seller in Japan, and build a smaller, yet passionate userbase in the West.
With support diminishing, Shahid Ahmad, Sony's Director of Strategic Content, instead began a new approach to software, through directly reaching out to, and making accommodations for, smaller, independent developers who were previously release games for mobile and PC platforms.
While not completely reversing the sales trends of the Vita, the lower costs of making or porting smaller-budget games made it easier for developers to make a profit on the systems's smaller userbase, and in turn, increased consumer attention on the console, keeping the device afloat.
Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios revealed that his studio, despite usually being more involved with software, had a continued role in future hardware development at the time.
In December, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai stated that Sony aimed to appeal to a wide demographic of people by using multiple input methods on future hardware; buttons and joysticks for traditional handheld game system users, and touchscreens for smart phone users.